Mrs Bickersteth’s Week in Review 5th May 2017

It has been another fantastic week in the Lower School.  A snapshot of the learning that has been seen in classrooms this week include: Year2’s cross-curricular work on Shakespeare’s “ The Tempest”. I have loved hearing the children’s explanations about Caliban, Aerial and Prospero,  seeing them  painting water colours of these characters and also hearing the children reading the play script . This is all at the heart of the children’s literacy work and shows how the creative approach to the curriculum reaps rich rewards developing skills in many different areas, and stimulates children’s desires to improve and to try new things. Year 2 parents are going to have a real  treat when they have the Year 2 class assembly later this term.

Year 4 shared the culmination of their work on writing balanced arguments – there were impressive presentations of arguments for and against school uniform, with the learning objective including  providing productive peer feedback as part of the Assessment for Learning strategies that are used throughout the Lower School. In another lesson they were learning about the technicalities behind how the Internet works.

Year 6 surprised me with their interesting facts about animal hearts – one of which was that a Blue Whale’s arteries are large enough for a human to swim in one!

One of the important aspects of education is equipping children with skills which can be applied in real life and  provide them with the ability to be confident and have an enquiring mind . Speaking and listening skills are a vital part of this and these have also been placed firmly back on the curriculum nationally when the National Curriculum was reformed in recent years. The Lower School has placed an importance on these skills for many years and children have opportunities across the curriculum to hone their confidence in speaking  and to develop their ability to listen to and  respond to others. This week the Junior English Speaking Board Exams took place, which are a positive way for children to  challenge themselves in preparing for an accredited exam. All the children involved are to be congratulated on their preparation and their confidence when taking the exam. It was fantastic to hear the range of interests that the children have. There were many well-prepared and confidently presented talks on a wide range of subjects. There are criteria for each grade of ESB exams which need to be met in recitation of poetry, presenting a talk, reading from a book and listening and asking questions of others. The subjects chosen by the children included musical instruments; space; the Ancient Greeks and many different  sporting interests – some of which were ice hockey, badminton and running the Ancient Greeks. I look forward to seeing the final examiner results for these exams soon.

The week ended on a really positive note with celebration assemblies, in which children were proud to receive certificates and praise in recognition of a range of  personal successes. It is always good to hear of achievements which  reflect a diverse range of interests.